August 20th, 2018

Bargain Finder 152: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Caldwell Long Range Target Cam System, $313.99

Amazon Caldwell Precision Long Range Target System Cam Camera
Labradar chronograph

Forum members have purchased this Caldwell Target Cam System and they’ve found that it works reliably, providing a clear signal to any WiFi-enabled mobile device (smartphone, iPad, Laptop). Amazon is offering this complete system for $313.99, with FREE shipping. One member specifically tested the unit at 1000 yards and it functioned fine. NOTE: This system does NOT have a zoom camera lens, so you need to position the camera within 10 yards or so of the target. But if you place it to the side a bit, this shouldn’t be a problem. NOTE: This system comes with a nice, fitted carrying case that holds camera, transceivers, antennas, and stands.

2. EuroOptic.com — Tikka T3 Liquidation Sale, Rifles from $349.00

EuroOptic Tikka t3 sale discount inventory reduction bargain .270 .308 .223 Win Mag .300

EuroOptic.com bought a large quantity of Tikka T3 rifles from the North American distributor. Now these T3s are being offered at huge discounts –some well below wholesale cost. Tikka rifles that typically retail for $600 to $1000 are selling for $359 to $600. Save Hundreds! This is an amazing offer if you are looking for a very high-quality hunting rifle at a rock-bottom price. To add to the incentive, the first 500 T3 purchasers will receive a FREE Badlands Tenacity Backpack, a $45.00 value.

3. Bullets.com — Liquidation Sale with Incredible Savings

Bullets.com going out business inventory reduction liquidation sale discount auction blow-out bullets powder dies redding

Bullets.com is closing up shop. For the past few months Bullets.com has selling off its inventory. There are still some great products left at really low prices — in many cases below wholesale cost. How about a 100-ct box of 197gr 7mm Sierra MatchKings for just $22.95. Awesome deal — MidwayUSA charges $49.99/100 for the same 197gr bullets! Or grab some very good Norma rimfire ammo for less than $3.00 a box. You’ll want to act soon to enjoy these bargains before they’re gone for good.

4. Brownells — CCI .22 LR Ammo, $24.99/500 or $89.96 for 2000

CCI rimfire .22 LR standard velocity ammo discount sale free shipping brownells $10 off

Here’s a great deal on big-name, rimfire ammo. Right now you can get a 500-round pack of CCI Standard Velocity 40gr LRN ammo for just $24.99. That works out to just five cents ($0.05) per round. But it gets even better. If you purchase at least four 500-rd packs (2000 rounds total), you also get FREE shipping and a $10.00 discount with CODE JDC. With that “JDC” discount code, your total price is just $89.96 for 2000 rounds delivered, or 4.5 cents per round! That’s a great deal on reliable CCI ammo that’s good for plinking and rimfire cross-training. NOTE: If the JDC code has expired, try CODE MCP for free shipping on $49+ orders.

5. VihtaVuori — $5.00 Per Pound Rebate on Vihtavuori Powders

Capstone Vihtavuori powder propellant N133 N140 rebate discount sale $60 cash back

Earn Up To $60 Cash Back On VihtaVuori Powders
The 2018 VihtaVuori Rebate Program is under way. For a limited time, earn $5.00 back per bottle when you purchase VihtaVuori powders. Offer is valid on qualifying purchases made between August 15, 2018 and October 15, 2018. Be sure to keep your receipts and note the labels. The Rebate application MUST include proof of purchase showing retailer name and date of purchase. And the Rebate Form MUST include the serial number for each VihtaVuori bottle purchased.

Bruno’s | Graf’s | Midsouth | Powder Valley | Precision Reloading

VV Rebate Start Date: 8/15/2018
VV Rebate End Date: 10/15/2018
Postmarked By Date: 11/30/2018
Minimum Purchase: One 1-pound bottle
Maximum Purchase: Twelve 1-pound bottles
Maximum REBATE is $60.00

6. Grafs.com — Lyman Summer Sale, 10-22% Off Select items

Grand sons Graf's lyman 15% Off sale trigger gauge tumbler borecam

Lyman has brought out some fine products in recent years, tools that offer excellent performance for the price. Now you can get a serious discount on a variety of Lyman products, including the popular Lyman BoreCam, and the Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge, our “go-to” tool for measuring pull weights. Here are some of the best Lyman Summer Sale deals at Grafs.com now:

Lyman BoreCam Digital Borescope — $199.99 (marked down from $229.99)
Lyman Turbo Pro Magnum Tumbler — $69.99 (marked down from $84.99)
Lyman Trigger Pull Gauge — $42.99 (marked down from $47.99)

7. CDNN — Winchester XPR Rifle $289.99 after $75 Rebate

Winchester XPR Rifle Rebate discount full hunting sale

We like the Winchester XPR as an affordable, entry-level hunting rifle. The three-lug bolt has a short throw, the mags seat easily and the rifle balances well. CDNN is offering the XPR for just $364.99. That’s a great price, but it gets even better. Winchester is offering a $75.00 factory rebate, lowering your net cost to just $289.99. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new custom barrel! This CDNN deal is available now for four popular chamberings: .243 Win, .308 Win, .270 Win, and .30-06 SPR. Winchester’s $75 Factory Rebate applies to any new Winchester XPR or Model 70 rifle purchased from August 1 through October 31, 2018. For more info, visit Winchester’s Trophy Season Rebate Page.

8. Champions Choice — Deluxe 58″-Long Rifle Case, $68.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

9. Amazon — 12″x12″ Splatter Grid Targets, 10 for $9.99

Sight-in 12

This 12″x12″ Splatterburst Target combines splatter shot marking with a grid background, with five aiming points. The bright neon shot circles make it easy to see your shots. And the handy grid lets you quickly estimate your group size. Get a 10-pack for $9.99, or a 25-pack for $17.99 (better deal). This particular target has earned rave reviews — 87% of verified buyers gave this a FIVE-Star rating. One example: “Excellent quality and durability. The adhesive is really strong. High contrast makes down range targeting easy and the splatter contrast is [great].”

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August 19th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor Load Data with Popular Powders

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

We’re told the 6.5 Creedmoor is now the best-selling chambering in new bolt-action rifles sold in the USA. Accurate, versatile, with moderate recoil, the 6.5 Creedmoor serves hunters, paper punchers, and PRS shooters equally well.

As part of its online Load Data Center, Nosler offers very complete load data for the popular 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge. This medium-sized cartridge has become one of the most popular chamberings for tactical and PRS shooters. The 6.5 Creedmoor combines excellent accuracy, good mag-feeding, good barrel life, moderate recoil, and reasonable component cost. That’s why this cartridge has caught on quickly. GET ALL 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data.

6.5 Creedmoor Velocity Test Rifleshooter.com barrel cut test Nosler Load Data
How does barrel length affect 6.5 Creedmoor Muzzle Velocity?
CLICK HERE for RifleShooter.com barrel cut-down velocity test.

According to the Sierra Load Manual: “Developed in 2007 by Dennis DeMille and Dave Emary, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a shortened and improved 30 TC cartridge case that was inspired by the .308 Winchester design. This short action design was created to maximize case capacity and a wide range of loading lengths, while still fitting in standard short action magazines. With the correct twist barrel, the versatile 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of the wide range of bullet weights available in 6.5 mm (i.e. .264 caliber). Reloaders should keep in mind that the 6.5 Creedmoor works best with medium to medium-slow powders such as H4350, Varget, Win 760, and RE-17.”

Click Each Image to Load PDF File for Listed Bullet Weights

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895 Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895

In addition to the data sheets shown above, Nosler offers 6.5 Creedmoor data for a 100 grain Ballistic Tip and Partition bullets.

Nosler 6.5 Creedmoor load data PRS Reloder 16 RL 17 H4350 Varget IMR 4895
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical 2 Comments »
August 15th, 2018

Are You a Gun Wizard? Take the Shoot 101 Ballistics Quiz

Shoot 101 Ballistics Question Quiz BC trajectory

Shoot 101 Quiz
How much of an expert are you when it comes to firearms and ballistics? Test your knowledge with this interactive test. Vista Outdoors, parent of Savage, CCI, Federal, Bushnell, RCBS and other brands, has a media campaign called Shoot 101, which provides “how to” information about shooting, optics, and outdoor gear.

On the Shoot 101 website, you’ll find a Ballistics Quiz. The questions are pretty basic, but it’s still fun to see if you get all the answers correct.

You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge. Roughly a third of the questions are about projectile types and bullet construction. Note, on some platforms the layout doesn’t show all FOUR possible answers. So, for each question, be sure to scroll down to see all FOUR choices. REPEAT: Scroll down to see ALL answers!

CLICK HERE to Go to SHOOT 101 Ballistics QUIZ Page »

Sample Ballistics Question 1:

Shoot 101 Ballistics Question Quiz BC trajectory

Sample Ballistics Question 2:

Shoot 101 Ballistics Question Quiz BC trajectory

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip No Comments »
August 15th, 2018

6.5 Creedmoor and Seven Rival 6.5mm Cartridges

6.5 Cartridge Guide Eben Brown EABco e. arthur brown 260 rem 6.5x47 6.5 creedmoor  6-5-284 6.5x55
Chart created with Ammoguide’s Visual Comparison Tool. Visit Ammoguide.com to learn more.

One of our forum members was looking for a very accurate, mid-sized 6.5mm cartridge for target working and coyote hunting. There are many great options including the 6.5 Grendel, 6.5×47 Lapua, 6.5 Creedmoor, and Remington .260 (a 6.5-08). If you are considering the 6.5×47 you should read our 6.5×57 Cartridge Guide authored by the 6.5 Guys. This and other 6.5mm cartridges are covered in this introduction to 6.5 mm cartridges prepared by Eben Brown, President of Eabco.com.

Quick Guide to 6.5mm Cartridges

by Eben Brown, EABCO.com, (E. Arthur Brown Co. Inc.)
The current popularity of 6.5mm cartridges in the USA has been a long time in coming. I won’t go into my opinions on why it took so long to catch on. The important thing is that it finally HAS caught on and we’re now so fortunate to have a wide selection of 6.5mm cartridges to choose from!

6.5mm Grendel – Developed by Alexander Arms for the AR15 and military M4 family of rifles. The Grendel fits the dimensional and functional requirements of these rifles while delivering better lethality and downrange performance. [Editor: The little 6.5 Grendel delivers a lot of performance from a small package. This is one of the most accurate cartridge options for the AR15 platform.]

6.5mm BRM – Developed by E. Arthur Brown Company to give “Big Game Performance to Small Framed Rifles” — namely our Model 97D Rifle, TC Contender, and TC Encore. Velocities of 2400-2500 fps with 140gr bullets puts it just under the original 6.5×55 Swede performance.

6.5mm x 47 Lapua – Developed by Lapua specifically for international 300m shooting competitions (with some interest in long-range benchrest as well). Case capacity, body taper, shoulder angle, and small rifle primer are all features requested by top international shooters. You can expect velocities of 2500-2600+ with 140 gr bullets.

6.5x47 Lapua Cartridge guide

6.5mm Creedmoor – Developed by Hornady and Creedmoor Sports, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is designed for efficiency and function. Its shape reaches high velocities while maintaining standard .308 Winchester pressures and its overall length fits well with .308 Win length magazines. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700+ fps with 140gr bullets. [Editor: Yep, we know some PRS guys are loading hotter than that in bolt guns. We recommend you try the 120-130 grain bullets also with this cartridge. That may put you in a better accuracy node.]

This video reviews 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge Brass options:

.260 Remington – Developed by Remington to compete with the 6.5mmx55 Swedish Mauser that was (finally) gaining popularity in 1996. By necking down the 7mm-08 Remington to 6.5mm (.264 cal), the .260 Remington was created. It fit the same short-action [receivers] that fit .308 Win, .243 Win, 7mm-08 Rem, etc. You can expect velocities of 2600-2700 fps with 140gr bullets in the 260 .Remington.

[Editor’s Note: In the .260 Rem, try the Lapua 120gr Scenar-Ls and/or Berger 130gr VLDs for great accuracy and impressive speeds over 2950 fps.]

6.5mm x 55 Swedish Mauser – This was the cartridge that started the 6.5mm craze in the USA. It is famous for having mild recoil, deadly lethality on even the biggest game animals, and superb accuracy potential. Original ballistics were in the 2500 fps range with 140gr bullets. Nowadays handloaders get 2600-2700+ fps.

[Editor’s Note: Tor from Scandinavia offers this bit of 6.5x55mm history: “Contrary to common belief, the 6.5×55 was not developed by Mauser, but was constructed by a joint Norwegian and Swedish military commission in 1891 and introduced as the standard military cartridge in both countries in 1894. Sweden chose to use the cartridge in a Mauser-based rifle, while Norway used the cartridge in the Krag rifles. This led to two different cartridges the 6.5×55 Krag and 6.5×55 Mauser — the only real difference being safe operating pressure.”]

6.5-284 Norma — This comes from necking the .284 Winchester down to .264 caliber. Norma standardized it for commercial ammo sales. The 6.5mm-284 was very popular for F-Class competition and High Power at 1,000 yards. However, many F-Class competitors have switched to the straight .284 Win for improved barrel life. 6.5-284 velocities run 3000-3100+ fps with 140gr bullets.

.264 Winchester Magnum – Developed by Winchester back in 1959, the .264 Win Mag never really caught on and may have delayed the ultimate acceptance of 6.5mm cartridges by US shooters (in my opinion). It missed the whole point and original advantage of 6.5 mm cartridges.

The Original 6.5mm Advantage
The special needs of long-range competition have skewed things a little. However the original advantages of 6.5mm cartridges — how deadly the 6.5mms are on game animals, how little recoil they produce, and how easy they are to shoot well — still hold true today.

6.5 Cartridge Guide Eben Brown EABco e. arthur brown 260 rem 6.5x47 6.5 creedmoor 6.5x55

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tactical 7 Comments »
August 13th, 2018

Bargain Finder 151: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. CDNN — Winchester XPR Rifle $289.99 after $75 Rebate

Winchester XPR Rifle Rebate discount full hunting sale

We like the Winchester XPR as an affordable, entry-level hunting rifle. The three-lug bolt has a short throw, the mags seat easily and the rifle balances well. CDNN is offering the XPR for just $364.99. That’s a great price, but it gets even better. Winchester is offering a $75.00 factory rebate, lowering your net cost to just $289.99. That’s less than you’ll pay for a new custom barrel! This CDNN deal is available now for four popular chamberings: .243 Win, .308 Win, .270 Win, and .30-06 SPR. Winchester’s $75 Factory Rebate applies to any new Winchester XPR or Model 70 rifle purchased from August 1 through October 31, 2018. For more info, visit Winchester’s Trophy Season Rebate Page.

2. EuroOptic — Vortex Diamondback FFP Scope $349.99 or $399.99

Vortex Diamondback bargain First Focal Plane Scope Optic sale

Looking for a good yet affordable First Focal Plane (FFP) optic for hunting or tactical events? Well Vortex just released a new under-$400 series of Diamondback FFP scopes. Select from 4-16x50mm or 6-24x50mm models. Both offer plenty of magnification for competitors and long-range varmint hunters.These new Diamondbacks feature 30mm maintubes and your choice of either 1/4 MOA clicks or 1/10 Mil clicks. The MOA-click versions feature an EBR-C2 MOA reticle while the Mil-click scopes have an EBR-C2 MRAD reticle. That way the reticle matches your click values (as it always should). We’re told these scopes have good glass and nice click feel. At EuroOptic.com Vortex’s affordable new 4-16x50mm FFP Diamondback is just $349.99, while the 6-24x50mm version is just $399.99.

3. Midsouth — Hornady Auto Charge Dispenser, $165.99

Here’s a great deal from our friends at Midsouth. Hornady’s versatile Lock-N-Load Auto Charge™ Powder Scale and Dispenser is on sale for $165.99 at Midsouth. The Hornady Auto Charge is accurate to 0.1 grains of powder and can hold up to 1000 grains of powder in its hopper. This is a very good value compared to other electronic powder scale/dispensers on the market, such as the RCBS ChargeMaster, which is now $276.99 at Amazon (over $110 more).

4. Bruno’s — Summer Sale on Kelbly Actions and Krieger Barrels

bruno shooters supply Kelbly action Krieger Barrel Sierra bullets

You’ll find some great buys at Bruno Shooters Supply right now. First, prices have been lowered significantly on Kelbly actions. Save 10% or more. Here are examples: Kelbly Panda ($1195), Kelbly Atlas Tactical ($919), Kelby Atlas Single Shot ($870). Krieger barrels, Lapua Brass, and Sierra bullets are also on sale. Visit Bruno’s Sale Page for the full list of products on sale.

5. Stocky’s — LR Stocks with Aluminum Bedding Block, $179.99

Stocky's Stocks Composite V-block stock

Here’s a good deal on a versatile Stocky’s Long Range Stock with aluminum V-block bedding system. For just $179.99, order this for Rem/Rem Clone long actions or short actions, with either narrow or wide (varmint/tactical) barrel channel. This would be a good choice for a varmint rifle. This is also offered with handsome hydrographic or web-pattern baked-on textured finishes for $199.99.

6. EuroOptic — Leica CRF 2000, $399.00

Leica 2000-B Rangemaster Laser LRF Rangefinder Sale Eurooptics.com

This may be the best deal we’ve seen on the vaunted Leica 2000-B Laser Rangefinder (LRF) with 7-power optic. This unit is rated out to 2000 yards on reflective objects (in real-world use it will laze a deer well past 800 if you can hold steady). The Leica 2000-B features air pressure and temperature sensors, plus on-board inclinometer. Angle correction works out to 1200 horizontal yards equivalent, with the true hold-over displayed in both MILs and MOA. The compact Leica CRF 2000-B weighs just 6.5 ounces and measures 4.5″ L x 2.25″ H x 1.25″ W. It has a waterproof outer shell.

7. Amazon — Plano 52″ Double Rifle Case with Wheels, $109.08

Plano double scoped rifle case with wheels

This Plano Double Scoped Rifle Case is an Amazon Best Seller for good reason. It offers the functionality and durability of an SKB-type hard case for HALF the money. This is under $110.00, while the equivalent SKB is around $240.00, so you can buy two Planos for the price of one SKB. The 51.5″ interior will fit most scoped competition rifles up to about 29″ barrels (measure your own rifle to make sure). If you separate the barreled action from the stock you can transport even ultra-long ELR rifles. The handles are convenient and beefy and the wheels make this case easy to move. This is a very tough, roomy case for the money (plus there’s Free Shipping).

8. Amazon — Neiko Digital Calipers, $17.85

Amazon Neiko Digital Caliper

Even if you have a good set of calipers, you may want to get one of these Neiko 01407A Digital Calipers. The #1 best-selling digital caliper on Amazon.com, this Neiko tool features a large LCD Screen and measures up to 6.0 inches. With over 3000 customer reviews, this product has earned an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. It’s hard to go wrong for $17.85, even if you just use these as a spare set for measuring group sizes and case trim lengths.

9. Amazon — Two Rolls of 3″ Neon Target Stickers, $14.95

Red Orange Neon 3

We like these bright, Neon 3″ target stickers. They are big enough to see easily at 600 yards, giving you a 1/2 MOA target center at that distance. For $14.95 at Amazon.com, you get 250 3″-diameter self-adhesive centers (125 targets per roll) that stick to almost any surface The high-contrast fluorescent red/orange color provides an excellent HI-VIZ aiming point, along with good contrast for bullet holes that fall within the 3″ circle. To help line up your reticle cross-hairs, the target centers feature black markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 0’Clock. NOTE: These stickers may qualify for FREE Shipping with combined orders over $25.00.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, Optics 1 Comment »
August 13th, 2018

It’s Official — SAAMI Approves Hornady 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) has accepted two new Hornady-marketed cartridges, the 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge (6.5 PRC) and the 300 PRC. Notably, for both cartridges, SAAMI lists a Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) of 65,000 PSI. The 300 PRC is NOT just a necked-up version of the 6.5 PRC. The 6.5 PRC has a 2.030″ case body length, while the 300 PRC is considerably longer, with a 2.580″ case body length (rim to case mouth). Both PRCs share a fat 0.532″ rim diameter, hence these cartridges require a magnum bolt face.

The 6.5 PRC is designed for the PRS and tactical crowd. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop the 6.5 PRC cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.” Cartridge and chamber drawings for both RPCs are available from SAAMI:


6.5 PRC SAAMI Blueprint HERE | 300 PRC SAAMI Blueprint HERE

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

Both cartridges were developed by Hornady Manufacturing Company, a Voting Member of SAAMI. “SAAMI member companies are the leaders of firearm and ammunition development and innovation,” said Rick Patterson, SAAMI’s Executive Director. “Both the 6.5 and 300 PRC cartridges seek to meet the demand for increased accuracy in today’s trending sport of long-range shooting, and we are pleased to add these new cartridges to our SAAMI Standards.”

New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532″). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its factory-loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble when you can get those kind of velocities from a 6.5-284 with a standard bolt face? The 6.5 PRC requires a magnum bolt face. Moreover, the 6.5-284 is a barrel burner. The 6.5 PRC surely promises to be likewise.

Now, to be fair, with handloads, we expect you’d see meaningful speed gains with the 6.5 PRC compared to the 6.5-284. Also it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

The .300 PRC — A Longer Version of the 300 Ruger Compact Magnum
The 300 PRC seems to be more a hunting cartridge than a cartridge for tactical games. Talking about this cartridge, Hornady states it would be an “excellent choice… for hunting applications” as well as “long-range precision shooting”. Inspired by the 300 Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM), the 300 PRC has a longer case body (2.580″) compared to the 300 RCM (2.100″), for more case capacity. That gives it the ability to push big .30-caliber bullets at higher velocities. But honestly, there are many other well-established Magnum hunting cartridge, so we doubt the .300 PRC is going to become popular among the hunting crowd. Time will tell however.

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

“Both the 6.5 PRC and the 300 PRC are multi-functional cartridges that are excellent choices for target and match shooting as well as hunting applications,” said Joe Thielen, Hornady’s Assistant Director of Engineering. “The primary focus of the design of both the 6.5 PRC and the 300 PRC has always been long-range precision shooting.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, News 3 Comments »
August 12th, 2018

How to Calculate Bullet RPM — Spin Rates and Stability

Spin rate stability bullet speed RPM Formula stabilization barrel twist
Photo by Werner Mehl, www.kurzzeit.com, all rights reserved.

Most serious shooters can tell you the muzzle velocity (MV) of their ammunition, based on measurements taken with a chronograph, or listed from a manufacturer’s data sheet. (Of course, actual speed tests conducted with YOUR gun will be more reliable.)

Bullet RPM = MV X 720/Twist Rate (in inches)

However, if you ask a typical reloader for the rotational rate of his bullet, in revolutions per minute (RPM), chances are he can’t give you an answer.

Knowing the true spin rate or RPM of your bullets is very important. First, spin rate, or RPM, will dramatically affect the performance of a bullet on a game animal. Ask any varminter and he’ll tell you that ultra-high RPM produces more dramatic hits with more “varmint hang time”. Second, RPM is important for bullet integrity. If you spin your bullets too fast, this heats up the jackets and also increases the centrifugal force acting on the jacket, pulling it outward. The combination of heat, friction, and centrifugal force can cause jacket failure and bullet “blow-ups” if you spin your bullets too fast.

Accuracy and RPM
Additionally, bullet RPM is very important for accuracy. Nearly all modern rifles use spin-stablized bullets. The barrel’s rifling imparts spin to the bullet as it passes through the bore. This rotation stabilizes the bullet in flight. Different bullets need different spin rates to perform optimally. Generally speaking, among bullets of the same caliber, longer bullets need more RPM to stabilize than do shorter bullets–often a lot more RPM.

It is generally believed that, for match bullets, best accuracy is achieved at the minimal spin rates that will fully stabilize the particular bullet at the distances where the bullet must perform. That’s why short-range 6PPC benchrest shooters use relatively slow twist rates, such as 1:14″, to stabilize their short, flatbase bullets. They could use “fast” twist rates such as 1:8″, but this delivers more bullet RPM than necessary. Match results have demonstrated conclusively that the slower twist rates produce better accuracy with these bullets.

On the other hand, Research by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics has shown that with long, boat-tailed bullets, best accuracy may be achieved with twist rates slightly “faster” than the minimum required for stabilization. The reasons for this are somewhat complex — but it’s something to consider when you buy your next barrel. If, for example, the bullet-maker recommends a 1:8.25″ twist, you might want to get a true 1:8″-twist barrel.

Calculating Bullet RPM from MV and Twist Rate
The lesson here is that you want to use the optimal RPM for each bullet type. So how do you calculate that? Bullet RPM is a function of two factors, barrel twist rate and velocity through the bore. With a given rifling twist rate, the quicker the bullet passes through the rifling, the faster it will be spinning when it leaves the muzzle. To a certain extent, then, if you speed up the bullet, you can use a slower twist rate, and still end up with enough RPM to stabilize the bullet. But you have to know how to calculate RPM so you can maintain sufficient revs.

Bullet RPM Formula
Here is a simple formula for calculating bullet RPM:

MV x (12/twist rate in inches) x 60 = Bullet RPM

Quick Version: MV X 720/Twist Rate = RPM

Example One: In a 1:12″ twist barrel the bullet will make one complete revolution for every 12″ (or 1 foot) it travels through the bore. This makes the RPM calculation very easy. With a velocity of 3000 feet per second (FPS), in a 1:12″ twist barrel, the bullet will spin 3000 revolutions per SECOND (because it is traveling exactly one foot, and thereby making one complete revolution, in 1/3000 of a second). To convert to RPM, simply multiply by 60 since there are 60 seconds in a minute. Thus, at 3000 FPS, a bullet will be spinning at 3000 x 60, or 180,000 RPM, when it leaves the barrel.

Example Two: What about a faster twist rate, say a 1:8″ twist? We know the bullet will be spinning faster than in Example One, but how much faster? Using the formula, this is simple to calculate. Assuming the same MV of 3000 FPS, the bullet makes 12/8 or 1.5 revolutions for each 12″ or one foot it travels in the bore. Accordingly, the RPM is 3000 x (12/8) x 60, or 270,000 RPM.

Implications for Gun Builders and Reloaders
Calculating the RPM based on twist rate and MV gives us some very important information. Number one, we can tailor the load to decrease velocity just enough to avoid jacket failure and bullet blow-up at excessive RPMs. Number two, knowing how to find bullet RPM helps us compare barrels of different twist rates. Once we find that a bullet is stable at a given RPM, that gives us a “target” to meet or exceed in other barrels with a different twist rate. Although there are other important factors to consider, if you speed up the bullet (i.e. increase MV), you MAY be able to run a slower twist-rate barrel, so long as you maintain the requisite RPM for stabilization and other factors contributing to Gyroscopic Stability are present. In fact, you may need somewhat MORE RPM as you increase velocity, because more speed puts more pressure, a destabilizing force, on the nose of the bullet. You need to compensate for that destabilizing force with somewhat more RPM. But, as a general rule, if you increase velocity you CAN decrease twist rate. What’s the benefit? The slower twist-rate barrel may, potentially, be more accurate. And barrel heat and friction may be reduced somewhat.

Just remember that as you reduce twist rate you need to increase velocity, and you may need somewhat MORE RPM than before. (As velocities climb, destabilizing forces increase somewhat, RPM being equal.) There is a formula by Don Miller that can help you calculate how much you can slow down the twist rate as you increase velocity.

CLICK HERE for Miller Formula in Excel Spreadsheet Format

That said, we note that bullet-makers provide a recommended twist rate for their bullets. This is the “safe bet” to achieve stabilization with that bullet, and it may also indicate the twist rate at which the bullet shoots best. Though the RPM number alone does not assure gyroscopic stability, an RPM-based calculation can be very useful. We’ve seen real world examples where a bullet that needs an 8-twist barrel at 2800 FPS MV, would stabilize in a 9-twist barrel at 3200 FPS MV. Consider these examples.

MV = 2800 FPS
8-Twist RPM = 2800 x (12/8) x 60 = 252,000 RPM

MV = 3200 FPS
9-Twist RPM = 3200 x (12/9) x 60 = 256,000 RPM

Of course max velocity will be limited by case capacity and pressure. You can’t switch to a slower twist-rate barrel and maintain RPM if you’ve already maxed out your MV. But the Miller Formula can help you select an optimal twist rate if you’re thinking of running the same bullet in a larger case with more potential velocity.

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August 11th, 2018

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficient Models — What You Need to Know

G1 G7 BC drag models

Over the past 12 months, this article was one of the TOP TEN most-read Daily Bulletin features. We’re reprising it today for those who may have missed it the first time. The above diagram comes from a TiborasurasRex YouTube Video comparing G1 and G7 BC models. CLICK HERE to watch the video.

The better, up-to-date ballistics programs let you select either G1 or G7 Ballistic Coefficient (BC) values when calculating a trajectory. The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. You’ve probably seen that G7 values are numerically lower than G1 values for the same bullet (typically). But that doesn’t mean you should select a G1 value simply because it is higher.

Some readers are not quite sure about the difference between G1 and G7 models. One forum member wrote us: “I went on the JBM Ballistics website to use the web-based Trajectory Calculator and when I got to the part that gives you a choice to choose between G1 and G7 BC, I was stumped. What determines how, or which one to use?”

The simple answer is the G1 value normally works better for shorter flat-based bullets, while the G7 value should work better for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 vs. G7 Ballistic Coefficients — Which Is Right for You?
G1 and G7 refer both refer to aerodynamic drag models based on particular “standard projectile” shapes. The G1 shape looks like a flat-based bullet. The G7 shape is quite different, and better approximates the geometry of a modern long-range bullet. So, when choosing your drag model, G1 is preferrable for flat-based bullets, while G7 is ordinarily a “better fit” for longer, boat-tailed bullets.

G1 G7 Ballistic coefficients

Drag Models — G7 is better than G1 for Long-Range Bullets
Many ballistics programs still offer only the default G1 drag model. Bryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, believes the G7 standard is preferrable for long-range, low-drag bullets: “Part of the reason there is so much ‘slop’ in advertised BCs is because they’re referenced to the G1 standard which is very speed sensitive. The G7 standard is more appropriate for long range bullets. Here’s the results of my testing on two low-drag, long-range boat-tail bullets, so you can see how the G1 and G7 Ballistic coefficients compare:

G1 BCs, averaged between 1500 fps and 3000 fps:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.659 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.645 lb/in²

The reason the BC for the JLK is less is mostly because the meplat was significantly larger on the particular lot that I tested (0.075″ vs 0.059″; see attached drawings).

For bullets like these, it’s much better to use the G7 standard. The following BCs are referenced to the G7 standard, and are constant for all speeds.

G7 BCs:
Berger 180 VLD: 0.337 lb/in²
JLK 180: 0.330 lb/in²

Many modern ballistics programs, including the free online JBM Ballistics Program, are able to use BCs referenced to G7 standards. When available, these BCs are more appropriate for long range bullets, according to Bryan.

[Editor’s NOTE: BCs are normally reported simply as an 0.XXX number. The lb/in² tag applies to all BCs, but is commonly left off for simplicity.]

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August 11th, 2018

Speer Releases Handloading Manual Number 15

Speer 15th reloading hand loading handloading manual book Amazon 6.5 creedmoor recipes

Speer Ammunition has just released the latest edition of its reloading handbook: The Speer Handloading Manual No. 15. Shipments of this new book are being delivered to dealers now. It will be available on Amazon next week. The MSRP for the new Speer Manual is $34.95. We think the new book is worth the price — it is well-organized and quite complete. But if you are not a fan of conventional books, be aware that you can get a significant portion of Speer’s rifle and pistol load data for FREE on Speer’s website.

Why Buy the Book?
» New DATA for 6.5 Creedmoor and 12 More New Cartridge Types
» Complete Instructions for Handloading Rifle and Pistol Cartridges
» Updates for More Than 120 Cartridge Types

This new edition is Speer’s largest volume yet, featuring updated recipes with the latest propellants for more than 120 legacy cartridges. In addition, the new 15th Edition includes load data for 13 popular new cartridges, including 6.5 Creedmoor, .204 Ruger, and 300 Blackout. The 15th Speer Handloading Manual also features authoritative articles by expert shooters.

FREE Online INFO and DATA from Speer

On its website, Speer-Ammo.com, Speer also offers Rifle and Pistol Reloading Data, Reloading Safety Page, Step-by-Step Handloading Guide, and helpful Glossary of Reloading Terms.

Rifle Reloading Data (FREE Searchable Database)
Pistol Reloading Data (FREE Searchable Database)
Step-by-Step Handloading How-To
Reloading Safety Page (Worth Reading!)
Reloading Glossary

Speer 15th reloading hand loading handloading manual book Amazon 6.5 creedmoor recipes

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August 10th, 2018

Get Latest Powder Burn Rate Chart HERE

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

Hey guys, you’ll probably want to download this Powder Burn Rate Table issued by Hodgdon/IMR. This table shows the latest IMR powders including the Enduron series (IMR 4166, 4451, 4955, 7977), high-lighted in green below. This 150-entry comparison table provides useful information for all hand-loaders. When doing load development, and testing one powder versus another, it’s generally wise to choose propellants that share the same relative burn rate, as least for starters. This invaluable burn rate chart ranks powders from eight major powder-makers: Accurate, Alliant, Hodgdon, IMR, Norma, Ramshot (Western), Vihtavuori, Winchester.

NOTE: Hodgdon powders are blue, IMR standard powders are yellow, IMR Enduron powders are green, and Winchester Powders are Red. DOWNLOAD Chart HERE.


Latest POWDER BURN RATE TABLE from HODGDON/IMR

Hodgdon IMR Winchester Burn Rate Powder speed table relative table chart

CLICK HERE to Download Chart as PDF File

Story find by EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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August 10th, 2018

TECH Tip: How to Adjust FL Dies for Correct Shoulder Bump

Sinclair full length sizing die should bump set-back case
CLICK HERE for Sinclair Int’l 3-part video series on using Full-length Sizing Dies.

How Much Shoulder Bump Do You Want?

Some of our readers have questioned how to set up their body dies or full-length sizing dies. Specifically, AFTER sizing, they wonder how much resistance they should feel when closing their bolt.

Forum member Preacher explains:

“A little resistance is a good, when it’s time for a big hammer it’s bad…. Keep your full-length die set up to just bump the shoulder back when they get a little too tight going into the chamber, and you’ll be good to go.”

To quantify what Preacher says, for starters, we suggest setting your body die, or full-length sizing die, to have .0015″ of “bump”. NOTE: This assumes that your die is a good match to your chamber. If your sizing or body die is too big at the base you could push the shoulder back .003″ and still have “sticky case” syndrome. Also, the .0015″ spec is for bolt guns. For AR15s you need to bump the shoulder of your cases .003″ – .005″, for enhanced reliability. For those who have never worked with a body die, bump die, or Full-length sizing die, to increase bump, you loosen lock-ring and screw the die in further (move die down relative to shell-holder). A small amount (just a few degrees) of die rotation can make a difference. To reduce bump you screw the die out (move die up). Re-set lock-ring to match changes in die up/down position.

That .0015″ is a good starting point, but some shooters prefer to refine this by feel. Forum member Chuckhunter notes: “To get a better feel, remove the firing pin from your bolt. This will give you the actual feel of the case without the resistance of the firing pin spring. I always do this when setting up my FL dies by feel. I lock the die in when there is just the very slightest resistance on the bolt and I mean very slight.” Chino69 concurs: “Remove the firing pin to get the proper feel. With no brass in the chamber, the bolt handle should drop down into its recess from the full-open position. Now insert a piece of fire-formed brass with the primer removed. The bolt handle should go to the mid-closed position, requiring an assist to cam home. Do this several times to familiarize yourself with the feel. This is how you want your dies to size your brass, to achieve minimal headspace and a nearly glove-like fit in your chamber.”

We caution that, no matter how well you have developed a “feel” for bolt-closing resistance, once you’ve worked out your die setting, you should always measure the actual amount of shoulder bump to ensure that you are not pushing the shoulder too far back. This is an important safety check. You can measure this using a comparator that attaches to your caliper jaws, or alternatively, use a sized pistol case with the primer removed. See Poor Man’s Headspace Gauge.

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August 9th, 2018

6XC II — Great 6mm Option For Precision Rifle Series

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma
Rifle Crafted by PremierAccuracy.com. Inset 6XC II photo by 6mmAR.com.

With all the buzz about the 6.5 Creedmoor and its 6mm Creedmoor little brother, some folks forget that we’ve had an outstanding mid-sized, Across-the-Course cartridge for a long time — the 6XC. Pioneered by 11-time National High Power champion David Tubb, the 6XC has won national High Power championships, excelled in mid-range prone matches, and performed great in the varmint fields. It has also been used successfully by many Precision Rifle Series competitors. It’s no wonder — the 6XC has less recoil than a 6.5mm Creedmoor, there is a great selection of superb 6mm bullets, and Norma-made 6XC brass is high-quality and reasonably priced from DavidTubb.com.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

PRS Rifle with Modern 6XC II Chamber
Forum member Grimstod posted this new 6XC II rifle in our long-running Pride and Joy Rifle Thread. Grimstod notes: “These 6XC Gen IIs seam to be a hot commodity lately. This one is for PRS. It features a Premier Accuracy Atlas action made by Kelbly. The bolt and heavy-taper, fluted barrel are Ceracoted to match. I really like the ejectors on these Atlas actions. The stock is a KRG X-Ray painted in Premier Accuracy exclusive colors. The Kelbly Atlas action does not have any modifications. So far every Kelbly action we have tried has had perfect timing and trigger fall. We have been supper pleased with them. I look forward to using a lot more of these excellent actions.”

What is the 6XC II you may ask? That designates a 6XC with a chamber dimension optimized for Norma brass. It turns out that Norma brass is a bit bigger at the bottom than the 22-250 brass from which the 6XC originated. Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com has created two new JGS reamer specs that fit the Norma brass perfectly, improving feeding and extraction. Here is Robert’s Report:

The 6XC II Chamber — Upgraded for Today’s Norma 6XC Brass

by Robert Whitley of 6mmAR.com
The 6XC II Chamber works perfectly with the Norma 6XC brass and resolves the “sticky bolt lift” issue. The original 6XC chambering was designed based off the usage of 22-250 brass which typically has a web diameter in the range of .461″-.463″. The area of the chamber just forward of the web on the original 6XC chambering was .4695″ which left plenty of clearance.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

When Norma 6XC brass became available Norma appears to have developed the base of the case from the .308 Winchester line of cases which have a larger web diameter. The web diameter of the Norma brass typically measures right around .4685″ which leaves almost no diameter clearance.

As shooters would use Norma 6XC brass in an original 6XC chamber they typically would experience “sticky bolt lift” due to the lack of clearance and the fact that the large web diameter of the brass prohibited the re-size dies (no matter how small the base diameter was) from squeezing the brass down enough to create sufficient clearance. The 6XC II chamber resolves this issue. You can order 6XC II sizing dies from 6mmAR.com that work perfectly with this re-designed chambering. 6XC II die sets are in stock now — call (215) 348-8789 to order.

6XC II Long Range Reamer (Throated long for 105-115gr Bullets):
The 6XC II-LT reamer below is throated long to keep the full bearing surface of 110-115gr bullets forward of the neck/shoulder junction of the case. Note, 6mmAR.com has also developed a shorter-freebore version for 6mm bullets with shorter bearing surface. SEE shorter 6XC II Reamer Print.

robert whitley grimstod Premier Accuracy 6XC II 6XCII PRS precision rifle series varmint .243 Norma

6XC II Chamber and Sizing Die Combo:

– Resolves the “sticky bolt lift” problem shooters experienced using the Norma 6XC Brass in the original 6XC chambers.

– Chamber accepts all 6XC brass or ammo with no modification. Take your existing 6XC brass or ammo and use it without issues.

– Works well with existing Norma 6XC brass, or 6XC brass made from re-formed Winchester and Remington 22-250 brass.

– 6XC II Sizing dies and die sets are available from 6mmAR.com and in stock.

6XC II custom dies redding

If you are looking for someone to chamber your rifle or re-barrel an existing rifle in the 6XC II chamber, Fred at Sabreco, Inc. in Skippack, PA, (610) 584-8228 can help you. He has the reamers for the cartridge as well as the head space gauges for the cartridge, and has had extensive experience chambering many barrels and rifles.

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August 6th, 2018

Ballistics TIP: How Altitude and Air Pressure Affect Bullet Flight

Trajectory of Bullet fired at Sea Level

Trajectory of Bullet fired at 20,000 feet

You can do your own experimental calculations using JBM Online Ballistics (free to use). Here is an extreme example, with two printouts (generated with Point Blank software), one showing bullet trajectory at sea level (0′ altitude) and one at 20,000 feet. For demonstration sake, we assigned a low 0.2 BC to the bullet, with a velocity of 3000 fps.

Suunto AltimeterOne of our readers asked “What effect does altitude have on the flight of a bullet?” The simplistic answer is that, at higher altitudes, the air is thinner (lower density), so there is less drag on the bullet. This means that the amount of bullet drop is less at any given flight distance from the muzzle. Since the force of gravity is essentially constant on the earth’s surface (for practical purposes), the bullet’s downward acceleration doesn’t change, but a bullet launched at a higher altitude is able to fly slightly farther (in the thinner air) for every increment of downward movement. Effectively, the bullet behaves as if it has a higher ballistic coefficient.

Forum member Milanuk explains that the key factor is not altitude, but rather air pressure. Milanuk writes:

“In basic terms, as your altitude increases, the density of the air the bullet must travel through decreases, thereby reducing the drag on the bullet. Generally, the higher the altitude, the less the bullet will drop. For example, I shoot at a couple ranges here in the Pacific Northwest. Both are at 1000′ ASL or less. I’ll need about 29-30 MOA to get from 100 yard to 1000 yards with a Berger 155gr VLD @ 2960fps. By contrast, in Raton, NM, located at 6600′ ASL, I’ll only need about 24-25 MOA to do the same. That’s a significant difference.

Note that it is the barometric pressure that really matters, not simply the nominal altitude. The barometric pressure will indicate the reduced pressure from a higher altitude, but it will also show you the pressure changes as a front moves in, etc. which can play havoc w/ your calculated come-ups. Most altimeters are simply barometers that read in feet instead of inches of mercury.”

As Milanuk states, it is NOT altitude per se, but the LOCAL barometric pressure (sometimes called “station pressure”) that is key. The two atmospheric conditions that most effect bullet flight are air temperature, and barometric pressure. Normally, humidity has a negligible effect.

It’s important to remember that the barometric pressure reported on the radio (or internet) may be stated as a sea level equivalency. So in Denver (at 6,000 feet amsl), if the local pressure is 24″, the radio will report the barometric pressure to be 30″. If you do high altitude shooting at long range, bring along a Kestrel, or remember to mentally correct the radio station’s pressure, by 1″ per 1,000 feet.”

If you want to learn more about all aspects of External Ballistics, ExteriorBallistics.com provides a variety of useful resources. In particular, on that site, Section 3.1 of the Sierra Manual is reprinted, covering Effects of Altitude and Atmospheric Pressure on bullet flight.

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August 5th, 2018

Cartridge “Efficiency” — Factors to Consider from the USAMU

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion.

USAMU Handloading Guide Facebook cartridge efficiency

Cartridge Efficiency: A Primer (pun intended!) by USAMU Staff

Each week, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) publishes a reloading article on its Facebook Page. In this week’s article, the USAMU discusses cartridge case efficiency and its benefits. While this is oriented primarily toward NRA High Power Rifle and Long Range (1000-yard) competition, these factors also apply to medium/big game hunters. Assuming one’s rifle and ammunition are accurate, key considerations include ballistic performance (i.e., resistance to wind effects, plus trajectory), recoil, and throat erosion/barrel life.

Efficient cartridges make excellent use of their available powder and case/bore capacity. They yield good ballistic performance with relatively little recoil and throat erosion. A classic example in the author’s experience involved a featherweight 7x57mm hunting/silhouette rifle. When loaded to modern-rifle pressures, just 43-44 grains of powder pushed a 139gr bullet at 2900 fps from its 22” barrel. Recoil in this light rifle was mild; it was very easy to shoot well, and its performance was superb.

An acquaintance chose a “do everything” 7mm Remington Magnum for use on medium game at short ranges. A larger, heavier rifle, it used ~65 grains of powder to achieve ~3200 fps with similar bullets — from its 26″ barrel. Recoil was higher, and he was sensitive to it, which hampered his shooting ability.

Similarly efficient calibers include the 6mm BR [Norma], and others. Today’s highly-efficient calibers, such as 6mm BR and a host of newer developments might use 28-30 grains of powder to launch a 105-107gr match bullet at speeds approaching the .243 Winchester. The .243 Win needs 40-45 grain charges at the same velocity.

Champion-level Long Range shooters need every ballistic edge feasible. They compete at a level where 1″ more or less drift in a wind change could make the difference between winning and losing. Shooters recognized this early on — the then-new .300 H&H Magnum quickly supplanted the .30-06 at the Wimbledon winner’s circle in the early days.

The .300 Winchester Magnum became popular, but its 190-220gr bullets had their work cut out for them once the 6.5-284 and its streamlined 140-142gr bullets arrived on the scene. The 6.5-284 gives superb accuracy and wind performance with about half the recoil of the big .30 magnums – albeit it is a known barrel-burner.

Currently, the 7mm Remington Short Action Ultra-Magnum (aka 7mm RSAUM), is giving stellar accuracy with cutting-edge, ~180 grain bullets, powder charges in the mid-50 grain range and velocities about 2800+ fps in long barrels. Beyond pure efficiency, the RSAUM’s modern, “short and fat” design helps ensure fine accuracy relative to older, longer cartridge designs of similar performance.

Recent design advances are yielding bullets with here-to-fore unheard-of ballistic efficiency; depending on the cartridge, they can make or break ones decision. Ballistic coefficients (“BC” — a numerical expression of a bullet’s ballistic efficiency) are soaring to new heights, and there are many exciting new avenues to explore.

The ideal choice [involves a careful] balancing act between bullet BCs, case capacity, velocity, barrel life, and recoil. But, as with new-car decisions, choosing can be half the fun!

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Cartridges
For competitive shooters… pristine accuracy and ballistic performance in the wind are critical. Flat trajectory benefits the hunter who may shoot at long, unknown distances (nowadays, range-finders help). However, this is of much less importance to competitors firing at known distances.

Recoil is an issue, particularly when one fires long strings during competition, and/or multiple strings in a day. Its effects are cumulative; cartridges with medium/heavy recoil can lead to shooter fatigue, disturbance of the shooting position and lower scores.

For hunters, who may only fire a few shots a year, recoil that does not induce flinching during sight-in, practice and hunting is a deciding factor. Depending on their game and ranges, etc., they may accept more recoil than the high-volume High Power or Long Range competitor.

Likewise, throat erosion/barrel life is important to competitive shooters, who fire thousands of rounds in practice and matches, vs. the medium/big game hunter. A cartridge that performs well ballistically with great accuracy, has long barrel life and low recoil is the competitive shooter’s ideal. For the hunter, other factors may weigh more heavily.

Cartridge Efficiency and Energy — Another Perspective
Lapua staffer Kevin Thomas explains that efficiency can be evaluated in terms of energy:

“Cartridge efficiency is pretty straight forward — energy in vs. energy out. Most modern single-based propellants run around 178-215 ft/lbs of energy per grain. These figures give the energy potential that you’re loading into the rifle. The resulting kinetic energy transferred to the bullet will give you the efficiency of the round. Most cases operate at around 20-25% efficiency. This is just another way to evaluate the potential of a given cartridge. There’s a big difference between this and simply looking at max velocities produced by various cartridges.”

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August 4th, 2018

Power to the People — 21st Century Powered Neck-Turning Lathe

21st Century Shooting neck turn neck-turning power lathe powered cutting tool arbor case neck brass cartridge

Do you neck-turn hundreds of cases annually? Then you deserve this outstanding tool. This innovative neck-turning system is truly a game-changer. The 21st Century Shooting Powered Neck-Turning Lathe is quite simply the best system ever created for quickly and precisely uniforming (and reducing) the neckwall thickness of cartridge brass. We have the original manual 21st Century neck-turning lathe, and can attest that it works great. But with the new powered system you can turn necks faster and more efficiently, with less effort. This is like going from a stick shift to an automatic transmission. The cases feed very smoothly and the results are beautiful. Once you’ve tried the Powered Neck-Turning Lathe you won’t want to use anything else. Watch this video to see how it works:

Power is activated by the red button on the end of the blue, horizontal feed handle:

Click the Speaker Button on video frame to play with sound (audio).

The Powered Neck-Turning lathe is a modular system. Swing the bar from right to left to feed the case. The power head (with case holder) glides on stainless steel rails for smooth movement. This allows very precise feed rate. Power is supplied via a button that is built into the end of the feed handle. Push the red button to make the case spin. It’s as simple as that.

21st Century Shooting neck turn neck-turning power lathe powered cutting tool arbor case neck brass cartridge

The folks at 21st Century Shooting explain why the system works so well: “The floating design of our Neck Turner and Case Driver allows the case mouth (bore) to run on the arbor absolutely concentric. This, therefore, allows the outside diameter to be turned concentric with the inside diameter.”

Here is another video that shows how the lathe system operates:

Click the Speaker Button on video frame to play with sound (audio).

Complete Powered Neck-Turning Lathe System
The powered neck-turning system comes with everything you need, starting at $679.00. This includes: Motor Assembly, Lathe Base, “L” bracket, Neck-Turning Tool, Cutter, Case Holder, Driver, Turning Arbor, Expander Die Body, and Expander Mandrel. 21st Century currently offers a choice of nine popular calibers: .17, .20, .22, .243 (6mm), .264 (6.5mm), .270, .284 (7mm), .30, and .33. The case holders are appropriately sized for the common rim sizes in that caliber. Choose either stainless arbor and mandrel or Titanium Nitride-coated arbor and mandrel (for $20 more). Some of the larger calibers cost a bit more.

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August 4th, 2018

Wet Tumbling Brass with Stainless Media — Eye-Opening Results

Stainless Tumbling Media Brass Cleaning

On our main Accurateshooter.com website, you’ll find a comprehensive review of the STM system for cleaning cartridge brass with stainless media. To clean brass with stainless media, start with five pounds of small stainless pins sold by StainlessTumblingMedia.com. Place these along with a gallon of water, a little liquid cleaner, and two pounds of cartridge brass in a rotary tumbler, and run the machine for one to four hours.

CLICK HERE for Stainless Media Brass Cleaning System Review »

Forum Member Tests STM System
Our reviewer, Forum member Jason Koplin, purchased the STM media and a new Thumler’s Tumbler. He then tested the STM cleaning procedure on his own brass, including some extremely dirty and tarnished “range pick-up” brass. Jason was thoroughly impressed with how well the STM process worked — as you can see from the “before and after” photos below. Brass which looked like it was ready for the scrap heap was restored to “like-new” appearance. Check it out:

stainless tumbling Media

stainless tumbling Media

Works Great on Both Rifle Brass and Pistol Brass
The process works equally well on both rifle brass and pistol brass (see below). Jason observed that one surprise benefit of the STM cleaning procedure is a big reduction in noise in his reloading room. Jason said the water-filled rotary tumbler was much quieter than his vibratory tumblers.

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

.45 ACP pistol Brass STM Stainless Media

You’ll want to read Jason’s full review which shows more before and after images. The full article features a “how-to” video created by Forum member Cory Dickerson, the young man who pioneered the stainless tumbling process and founded STM. The video shows how to load brass, media, and cleaner solutions into the tumbler, and how to separate media from brass once the tumbling is done.

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August 3rd, 2018

Paul Phillips Wins NRA Extreme Long Range Championship

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Competing at Camp Atterbury in mid-July, Paul Phillips of Team Applied Ballistics won the 2018 NRA Extreme Long Range (ELR) Championship. Shooting a McMillan-stocked .416 Barrett rifle with 550-grain Cutting Edge Bullets, Phillips won convincingly, finishing with 62627 points. Runner-up, shooting a .375, was Chase Stroud (56744 points).

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics
Paul Phillips (holding rifle) with wind coach/spotter John Droelle. Rifle components included: McMillan ELR Beast Stock, BAT Action, Bartlein Barrel, Nightforce ATACR 7-35×56 mm scope, Phoenix Precision Bipod. Cartridges shown are similar .416 Barrett rounds used by Derek Rodgers in 2018 K02M event.

Caliber and Cartridge Choice:
Paul Phillips, shooting the .416 Barrett, was the only shooter in the Top Ten running a .416-caliber rifle. There were eight .375-caliber rifles (mostly .375 CheyTacs) and one .338-caliber in the Top Ten. Overall, there were 36 competitors registered for the Match, 30 of whom scored points. Fourteen of the 30 scoring competitors, nearly half, shot a .375-caliber cartridge. The .338 (mostly .338 LM) was the next most popular caliber choice.

Course of Fire — Three Extreme Yardages:
The 2018 NRA ELR Event included three stages, at progressively longer yardages: 1500, 1760 (mile), and 1961 yards. At each distance, starting at 1500, the competitors fired five (5) shots at a 36″x36″ steel plate. There were no sighters, practice shots, or ranging shots allowed. This meant the competition put a premium on precise ballistic solutions, and very consistent ammo.

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Notable Competitors: There were 36 competitors registered for the match including some big names — David Tubb and Brian Litz. The field included F-Class aces Dan Pohlabel and Jeff Rorer. Capstone Precision President (and former Sinclair Int’l President) Bill Gravatt helped spot for Paul Phillips. Notably, both David Tubb AND his son-in-law Nate Stallter finished in the Top Ten shooting the new .37XC.

Successful Event with Many Sponsors: Shooting Sports USA noted: “Though only the second of these events, the match has experienced a real surge in popularity, well attended… and sponsored by some of the best in the business. Cutting Edge Bullets, Nightforce, McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, Holland’s Shooters Supply, Applied Ballistics, Vihtavouri Powder, and Crosstac, all of whom played a role in Paul’s big win, were also major sponsors of the event. Below is a banner listing all of the match’s sponsors.”

NRA Extreme Long Range Championship Camp Atterbury Indiana .416 Barrett Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Images courtesy Tactiholics (Facebook).

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 3 Comments »
August 2nd, 2018

Sierra’s New “GameChanger” Tipped Hunting Bullet

Sierra gamechanger hunting bullet game changer tipped ELD projectile

Sierra Bullets has just introduced a new line of hunting bullets, called the GameChanger series. These are claimed to combine match-bullet accuracy with highly effective performance on game animals. From what we can tell this is Sierra MatchKing (SMK) projectile modified with a new hollow cavity and tipped front end. The official product release says: “Sierra re-engineered their legendary MatchKing bullet into a hollow-point design for quick expansion and fitted it with a transparent green tip for ballistic uniformity. Inside, the GameChanger features a unique construction that utilizes a special lead alloy surrounded by a tough copper jacket that delivers excellent penetration and expansion[.]”

Video Shows Design of GameChanger Bullet (0:30 time mark):

Sierra gamechanger hunting bullet game changer tipped ELD projectile

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 4 Comments »
July 31st, 2018

Eyeball Your Brass — How to Diagnose Flawed Cases

Case Diagnostics 101 Sierra Bullets .223 Rem 5.56 brass cartridge safety

Ever wondered what caused a particular bulge or marking on a case? And more importantly, does the issue make the case unsafe for further use? Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks offers some insight into various issues and their causes in this article from the Sierra Blog.

Incipient Case-Head Separation
This is a Winchester .308 Win case that has a real issue. This case has a very obvious incipient case head separation in the process of becoming a complete failure.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This is most commonly caused by over-sizing the case causing there to be excess headspace on the case. After a few firings and subsequent re-sizing, this case is just about ready to come completely apart. Proper die adjustment is certainly a requirement here. Of course this case is not safe to reuse.

Excessive Pressure (Load Too Hot)
If you will notice in the picture of the case rim, there are two pressure signs to notice. First, look at the primer. It is basically flattened to about the max of what could be considered safe. If this was the only pressure sign noted, I would probably be fine with this load, but would constantly keep an eye on it especially if I was going to use this load in warmer temperatures. This load could easily cross into the “excess pressure” realm very quickly.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

There is another sign of pressure that we cannot ignore. If you’ll notice, there is an ejector mark apparent that is located over the “R” of the R-P headstamp. This absolutely tells us that this load would not have been in the safe pressure range. If there were any of these rounds loaded, they should not be fired and should be dis-assembled. This case should not be reloaded.

Split Case-Neck
Here we have an R-P .22-250 case that has died the death. Everything looks fine with this case except the neck is split. This case must be tossed.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

A split neck is a normal occurrence that you must watch for. It is caused by work-hardening of the brass. Brass cases get harder with age and use. Brand new cases that are stored for a period of time can become hard enough that they will split like this case within one to two firings. I have had new factory loads do the same thing. Then as we resize and fire these cases repeatedly, they tend to get harder and harder. Eventually they will split. The life of the case can be extended by careful annealing practices. This is an issue that would need to be addressed in an article by itself. Of course this case is no longer usable.

In the classes that I teach, I try to use examples like this to let the students see what they should be looking for. As always, if we can assist you, whether you are new to reloading or very experienced, contact us here at Sierra Bullets by phone at 1-800-223-8799 or by email at sierra@sierrabullets.com.

Dented Case Body
Here we have a Lake City 7.62×51 (.308 Win.) case with two heavy marks/dents in the case body.

Sierra Case reloading pressure safety inspection

This one may be a bit of a mystery. It appears as if this case may have been caught in the action of a semi-auto rifle when the firearm jammed or the case failed to clear during the cycling process. I probably would not reload this case just to prevent any feeding problems. This also appeared to be a factory loaded round and I don’t really see any pressure issues or damage to the case.

CLICK HERE for MORE .223 Rem Case Examples in Sierra Blog

It is very important to observe and inspect your cases before each reloading. After awhile it becomes second nature to notice the little things. Never get complacent as you become more familiar with the reloading process. If ever in doubt, call Sierra’s Techs at 1-800-223-8799.

Sierra Bullets Case Diagnostics Blog

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 30th, 2018

BargainFinder 149: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze, you lose.

1. CDNN — 6mm Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle, $799.99

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor PRS production class

Get a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6mm Creedmoor for $799.99 complete. That price, which includes rings, is great for a Gen 2 model. If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) chambered for the 6mm Creedmoor cartridge, this is a killer deal. Right now CDNN Sports is offering this popular tactical rig for under $800.00, in the 6mm Creedmoor chambering. This shoots faster and flatter than the 6.5 Creedmoor — so many PRS guys have switched to it. This is a good choice for the PRS production class, or you can take in to another level of performance with a Pre-Fit 26″ cut-rifled barrel from Krieger. This is the lastest RPR Gen 2 version with the upgraded handguards. Heck of a bargain boys — you can pay $1200 or more elsewhere for the same rifle.

2. MidwayUSA — Factory Second Bullets, 30% Off

MidwayUSA Blemishe blem bullet sale Nosler Hornady Sierra

MidwayUSA has purchased a large lot of big name blemished bullets, which are being offered at 30% off normal retail. For example 6.5mm 140gr bullets are marked down from $33.99 to $23.79 per 100. And 7mm 162gr bullets are reduced from $36.79 to $25.75 per 100. These blemished bullets are bulk-packaged, factory seconds that didn’t meet specification. For majority of the bullets being offered, this blemish is a slight discoloration in the jacket or the bullets were run during press set-up. Quantities are limited. These bullets may or may not have a cannelure present and the color of polymer-tipped bullets may vary between boxes.

3. CDNN — Burris Scope and 200 Rounds 17 HMR, $79.99

CCI 17 HMR Savage A17 ammo Burris 17HMR scope ammunition package sale

Buy yourself an inexpensive 17 HMR rifle, get this package deal, and you’re set for the varmint fields for under $400.00. The 200 rounds of ammo is worth $40.00, so you’re getting the 3-10x36mm scope for another forty bucks or so. Can’t argue with that. No this ain’t no Nightforce but this scope has a full factory guarantee and it should work OK for basic plinking duties. It has 1/4-MOA clicks plus a special extra “speed turret” calibrated for 17 HMR ballistics.

4. Natchez — Surplus SKB 5041 Transport Cases, $104.99

SKB Rifle Case Military Surplus 50

Natchez has obtained a supply of British MOD Surplus SKB 5041 rifle cases. These were ordered as mine detector cases, but were never issued. Natchez has removed the foam cut for the detectors and replaced it with brand new 2-piece convoluted foam. Interior dimension of the case is 50″x14.5″x5″ INSIDE so this will hold long-barrel match rifles comfortably. These are extremely high-quality cases, very tough and rugged, waterproof with gaskets. These cases feature four SKB patented trigger latches, four reinforced padlock locations, and inline wheels. Though in excellent condition, some case may have minor exterior scuffs. You won’t find a better case at anywhere near the $105.99 price. These normally retail for $199.99.

5. Midsouth — Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press, $77.49

Lyman C-Frame Ideal compact press cast iron

Lyman’s new Ideal compact press works great as a second, lighter-duty press. It also is a good choice for loading at the range. It can easily be mounted to a range bench with C-clamps. With its cast-iron body, this C-Frame press is stronger than other presses in its price class. If you are looking for a secondary press for decapping, bullet-seating and other tasks not requiring heavy leverage, this is an excellent choice. The Lyman Ideal costs just $77.49 at Midsouth Shooters Supply.

6. Powder Valley — 20% Off BR-4 Primers and Ramshot TAC

CCI BR4 BR-4 Primers Ramshot Tac powder sale discount

Powder Valley Inc. just kicked off a big sale on CCI Primers and Ramshot powder. Save 20% off RamShot TAC powder and get free HazMat with a large ($250) order. Powder Valley is also discounting CCI Small Rifle Primers, which are now also 20% Off. These BR4 primers produce excellent accuracy and consistent velocity in popular cartridges such as .223 Rem, 6mmBR, 6.5×47 Lapua, and 6.5 Creedmoor (Small Primer version). NOTE: The 20% off applies to all purchases of Ramshot TAC and CCI BR-4 primers. You can get free HazMat if you buy at least $250 of TAC powder OR at least 10,000 primers (e.g. ten 1000-primer units). This Powder Valley sale is good through August 5, 2018.

7. Midsouth — Hornady 17 HMR Ten Boxes for $84.99

Hornady 17 HMR week deal varmint V-Max ammo ammunition sale

Varmint hunters take note. Here’s a great deal on premium 17 HMR ammo. Midsouth is selling 500 rounds of Hornady 17 HMR ammo for $84.99. That works out to just $8.50 per 50-rd box — the best price we’ve seen in a while. Loaded with 17gr V-Max bullets, this ammo is accurate — expect about 1 MOA at 100 yards in a good rifle. The V-Max bullets are effective on small varmints out to 200 yards.

8. Natchez — 100 Hornady .22 Cal Varmint Bullets, $7.99

Hornady .224 22 caliber soft point SP bullets AR15 varmint ammo ammunition sale

Need big quantities of .224-caliber bullets for your next prairie dog safari, or some action shooting ammo for your AR? Here’s a crazy good deal on Hornady soft-point 55gr varmint bullets. The price is just $7.99 per hundred. You read that right less than eight cents per bullet. At those prices you can shoot all day long.

9. Cabela’s — Summer Sale on Guns, Ammo, and Gear

Cabela's gun knives binoculars ammo ammunition sale

Cabela’s is running a big summer sale now, with significant discounts (up to 40%) on a wide range of products. Along with discounted guns and ammunition, you’ll find many other outdoor products on sale of interest to shooters: knives, Vortex binoculars, and camping gear.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics 2 Comments »